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Denali Expedition: Hahn & Team Move Up to Base of Ski Hill

Tuesday, June 21, 2022 - 10:02 pm PT

The alarm rang at 12:30 AM today.  We sprang right up, ready to escape basecamp and truly get this expedition underway.  Skies were clear -which was exactly what we were hoping for in order to get the glacier surface well frozen.  Travel is easier when walking atop the snow rather than sinking in, travel is safer when the snow bridging crevasses is frozen solid, and travel is more pleasant when it is cool.  We dressed up, had a breakfast together and then we split up to knock down tents and get geared for travel.  There is plenty to do on such a morning.  Especially the first morning for a team.  We were still getting ready three hours later and finally the rope teams started moving at 3:40 AM.  We began by going downhill to the main Kahiltna Glacier.  It was hard work, trudging along on snowshoes under heavy packs and pulling fully loaded sleds.  But it was made pleasant by the incredible scenery  - it was particularly beautiful seeing the colorful early morning sunshine lighting the upper slopes of Mt. Foraker.  We met a handful of guided teams “heading for the barn”.   They’d been successful in reaching the top and were excited to be in the final stretches.  Always enjoyable for the guides on our team to see friends from other companies and other continents. 

Progress was steady and conditions were good enough.  The glacier has obviously lost a lot of snow in recent warm and dry weeks and so crevasse bridges were  sagging, but workable.  We pulled into our intended camp at the base of Ski Hill (8000’) after about six hours.  There was a fair bit of work -as always- to dig a new home in the snow, but we got it done and we’re able to dive in the tents so as to get some well earned naps and some time out of the sun.  By our dinner in the dining tent, snow clouds were pushing in from the north and spitting moisture our way.  Temperatures were on the chilly side as we did final chores and turned in for the evening.  We hope to do a “carry” tomorrow, if given half a chance. 

Best Regards

RMI Guide Dave Hahn


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